Qatar ‘rushes to HIDE beer tents at World Cup following new royal family lawsuit’
Organizers of the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar have gone to great lengths to hide beer tents already set up around football stadiums, reportedly following a direct demand from the Qatari royal family.
With the massive global event kicking off in just days, workers are rushing to move Budweiser-branded tents out of sight of local onlookers, the New York Times reported.
Part of the terms between FIFA and local organizers in Qatar stipulate the sale of alcohol during the event, as well as the provision of promotional space for US beer brand Budweiser.
However, Qatari officials had requested that the consumption and sale of alcohol during the World Cup should ‘respect’ local customs.
A FIFA World Cup trophy is seen at the entrance of Al Thumama Stadium ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 on November 14, 2022 in Doha, Qatar
Although alcohol is legal in Qatar, it is generally only available for sale at designated hotel bars, many of which are frequented by foreign visitors.
Concerns about offending the population of the deeply conservative and religious Muslim nation are believed to be behind the last-minute decision.
Workers have been seen pushing beer concessions to alternative venues around the eight stadiums where the games will take place, before the first game kicks off this weekend.
The decision will have dealt a serious blow to the World Cup’s main sponsor, Budweiser, which reportedly pays around £64m to FIFA every four years for the rights to its beer concessions.
In a statement to the New York Times, Budweiser said it only learned of the changes on Saturday and was “working with FIFA to relocate concession outlets to the appropriate locations.”
The move is the latest controversy surrounding the upcoming event, with a World Cup ambassador from Qatar recently saying that homosexuality was “harm to the mind”.
Being gay is illegal in the deeply religious country and can lead to jail time.
Earlier today, the United States men’s national team announced that it had redesigned its crest to incorporate the rainbow flag, in an attempt to show solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.
Budweiser is one of the main sponsors of the World Cup, paying FIFA around £64 million for the exclusive rights to sell beer every four years.
The US national team crest has changed from its usual red to the colors of the rainbow this week in support of the LGBTQ+ community.
Sir Rod Stewart recently revealed that he had turned down $1 million to perform in Qatar due to his poor human rights record.
And earlier this month, singer Sir Rod Stewart told the Sunday Times that he had turned down a $1 million offer to perform in Qatar because of the state’s human rights record.
I turned it down. It is not right to go. And the Iranians should also be willing to supply weapons,” he said, referring to drones supplied by the country to Russia, which was unable to participate in the tournament.
The first match of the 2022 World Cup will take place on Sunday, November 20 at Al Bayt Stadium, with the hosts taking on Ecuador,